NEW YORK (
) -- I spoke to
CEO Rick Clemmer about a new announcement they made earlier this week, touting its "GreenChip" light bulbs. The announcement does paint an interesting picture for where the world is heading.
In a nutshell, NXP is putting its chips on light bulbs and partnering with another firm (GreenWave Reality) to help write applications which allow users to manage their energy consumption.
Effectively, every light bulb in your home or office will be able to report to you through a Web connection. According to Clemmer, this development will encourage 30% in energy savings right away, according to studies they've done, once users can see their usage and where they are wasting light bulb energy as heat instead of light.
They have also written an open-software stack that allows others like GreenWave to write applications to interface with this kind of application.
Besides just energy usage tied to the bulbs, GreenWave has developed power adapters and links to smart meters to better judge where energy is being wasted around the home of office to further drive conservation. These adapters track energy consumption at the outlet level.
Local and state governments are already moving to time-shifted energy pricing to try and better cap energy usage. This new technology should be seen as a further ally to them in that battle. Clemmer is hoping they will encourage the growth of the technology.
NXP's goal is to be the chip and middleground between the IP-connected objects and the platforms through which you interface with that data (likely
Most know NXP because of its near-field communication (NFC) chips. NFC will allow us to do secure payment transactions with a tap of our cell phones in the future. The NFC piece of the business is actually relatively small compared to what's making the company today with its chips. Clemmer told me that the lighting opportunity is actually a bigger one for NXP than NFC.
But it is interesting to see how these kinds of smart home applications are going to further drive mobile adoption in the future.
I asked Clemmer what other applications are going to be coming beyond controlling our lighting from the road. You are already seeing auto applications where you can turn your car on or unlock it remotely. In the future, we will see entertainment preferences and seating preferences remembered when you sit down. You will even be able to set up profiles for your kids before they take the car for a spin. Imagine limiting your 16-year-old from driving over 65 miles per hour? It's coming.
There will also be many applications in the home. Controlling your alarm system, heating, and, of course, the refrigerator that monitors when you're low on milk and reorder it from your favorite grocery store.
Before I wrapped up the discussion with Clemmer, I tried to get in a few questions about the rumors from Monday that Apple would not contain NFC. Of course, he couldn't comment.
I also asked him about the news reports that French private company Inside Secure would hold an IPO later this year. He said it never expected to win 100% of all designs. It expects competitors and Inside Secure is one. However, he said that the news was simply that Inside Secure was interviewing bankers about a possible IPO. Clemmer is continuing to focus on NXP's business.
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At the time of publication, Eric Jackson was long NXPI, Apple.
Eric Jackson is founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital and the general partner and investment manager of Ironfire Capital US Fund LP and Ironfire Capital International Fund, Ltd. In January 2007, Jackson started the world's first Internet-based campaign to increase shareholder value at Yahoo!, leading to a change in CEOs in 2007. He also spoke out in favor of Yahoo!'s accepting Microsoft's buyout offer in 2008. Global Proxy Watch named Jackson as one of its 10 "Stars" who positively influenced international corporate governance and shareowner value in 2007.
Prior to founding Ironfire Capital, Jackson was President and CEO of Jackson Leadership Systems, Inc., a leadership, strategy, and governance consulting firm. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, and holds a B.A. from McGill University.
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